Surprise! Tata Zest compact sedan to get a detuned, base diesel variant?

The Tata Zest compact sedan is due for launch next month, and the media drives have just concluded. A surprising revelation has come our way today, stating that the Zest will get a detuned, base diesel variant, which will be sold with the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine in 75 Bhp-190 Nm guise.

The detuned engine will use a fixed geometry turbocharger.  The other variants of the Zest Diesel will get the same engine, with a variable geometry turbocharger and in a higher, 90 Bhp-200 Nm state of tune. Tata Motors’ decision to go with a lower state of tune on the Zest Diesel’s base variant could have to do with the automaker planning an ultra competitive price tag for the compact sedan.

A detuned version will allow Tata Motors to price the Zest more competitively and increase the product differentiation between the various diesel engined Zest variants. Expect the Zest Diesel’s base variant to be priced lower than the Hyundai Xcent, which at an ex-showroom Delhi price of 5.57 lakh rupees is currently the least priced diesel powered compact sedan, discounting the Indigo eCS, which is more of a cab than a personal car.

If priced lower than the Hyundai Xcent, value-for-money could be the calling card of the Tata Zest Diesel considering that even its base diesel variant, with 75 Bhp-190 Nm, will be more powerful than the Xcent, whose 1.1 liter-3 cylinder CRDI turbo diesel motor makes 71 Bhp-180 Nm.

While the Zest Diesel will feature a 5 speed manual gearbox as standard, Tata Motors will also launch a mid variant of the Zest Diesel with a 5 speed automated manual transmission that also gets a quicker shifting sport mode. The Zest will also be sold with a 1.2 liter-4 cylinder turbo petrol engine that outputs 88.7 Bhp-140 Nm. The 1.2 liter turbo petrol engine is the most powerful motor in the compact sedan segment and is also a segment leading feature. A 5 speed manual gearbox will be standard with this engine, which gets multi drive modes in the form of Eco, City and Sport modes.

Via ZigWheels